14-Year-Old Boy Recalls Terror After Being Bitten by Shark Off North Carolina: ‘Really Traumatizing’

"I sort of blacked out, walked toward the beach, and laid down, screaming," Blayne Brown said

A 14-year-old boy from West Virginia is on the mend and speaking out after he was attacked by a shark while vacationing with his family at a North Carolina beach last week.

Blayne Brown was visiting North Topsail Beach and swimming around Beach Access 4 at 474 New River Inlet Road at around 12:30 p.m. local time on June 23, ABC affiliate WWAY and NBC affiliate WCET reported.

Brown said the shark bit his leg and ankle while he and a friend were swimming and headed to shore, per WWAY.

Related: 11-Year-Old Girl Injured During Apparent Shark Attack While Swimming Near Shore in Hawaii

“It’s just really traumatizing and scary,” Brown told WCET. “I don’t know what bit me or anything. I just felt it and ran. Then I was screaming. My grandma was holding my hand and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna be okay. I’m gonna lose my leg.’ ”

The teen, who was taken to the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Level III Trauma Center after the incident, told the Department of Defense that he didn’t see the shark. "I sort of blacked out, walked toward the beach, and laid down, screaming. It felt like the shark was still on me," he recalled.

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North Topsail Beach Police Chief William Younginer said authorities were nearby on another call when Brown was attacked, telling CBS affiliate WNCT, “[We] had about a two-minute response out to him, which was great. Bystanders were already putting a towel on there and applying pressure which is what you should do.”

PEOPLE has reached out to the police department for comment.

According to the Defense Department, Brown received surgery to fix "several tendons in his lower leg and staple deep bite wounds."

Related: How to Avoid a Shark Attack and What to Do If Bitten? An American Lifeguard Association Expert Weighs In

Brown expressed his gratitude to the medical staff for their care. "I thank them for fixing me up and setting me up for a good recovery," he said, per the agency.

Younginer told WECT that he is looking forward to reuniting with Brown.

“I look forward to seeing him walk through the doors here one day and speaking to the officers and EMS that were there and going back out to the beach,” he said. “You know don’t don’t be afraid of it. You have a long life ahead of you.”

Related: 3 People Injured in 2 Different Shark Attacks at Neighboring Beaches in Florida: ‘This Is an Anomaly’

Meanwhile, the chief also said that beach visitors shouldn’t worry about shark attacks. There had not been a shark bite incident at North Topsail Beach in about six years, said authorities, per WECT.

“What you really ought to think about is riptides, rip currents and that kind of thing and learn how to get out of a rip current,” Younginer said, according to WNCT. “Go with it, swim to the sides and things like that because more than likely that’s what you’re going to be getting.”

According to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File, there were 69 unprovoked shark bites on humans and 22 provoked bites in 2023 worldwide. Among the U.S. states with the most unprovoked bites that year, North Carolina ranked fifth behind Florida with three.

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